Long term health conditions

Tomas - Interview 09

Male
Age at interview: 16

Brief outline: Tomas has had asthma since he was six months old. Apart from asthma, Tomas has developed various allergies and he attends a specialised hospital clinic. He says that the work that Asthma UK does at schools has helped to improve the understanding of the condition among teachers and children.

Background: Tomas attends high school. Lives at home with parents and his brother. His parents have always encouraged and supported him. He is a keen rugby player and thinks that his asthma is not stopping him from doing what he likes.

Audio & video

Tomas has had asthma since he was six months old. Many of his childhood memories involve having attacks; of being given an asthma pump at the age of two; of feeling hot and unable to breathe and of spending time in hospital so that doctors could keep 'an eye' on him. 

At school Tomas had to limit what he could do and was not able to join in many activities. He remembers that everytime he tried running he would get out of breath and had to stop to prevent an asthma attack. He felt disappointed and sometimes angry at the fact that his asthma was preventing him in joining in with his friends. His asthma also meant that his school attendance was irregular.

After the age of ten his asthma attacks became less frequent and he also discovered that taking his inhaler before doing physical activities, helped him 'not to run out of breath'. He took up rugby as his main sport and has been doing regular training and playing games ever since.

Apart from asthma, Tomas has developed various allergies and he attends a specialised hospital clinic. He says that his consultant explains things to him in an 'easy to understand' manner and that during the consultation doctors ask questions about his life and interests in general and not just about his asthma. 

Tomas's medications have increased over time and he is worried that his conditions might be getting worse rather than improving. Doctors have reassured him that this is not necessarily the case and he should not be so concerned about it.

Tomas participates in social and sport activities but takes care not to overdo it, so as to not end up having an asthma attack. He refers to it as having the 'right attitude' to his condition by which he means controlling it well but not allowing it to limit his life.

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